“I’ll eat healthy, starting from tomorrow!”
We’ve all heard this one before. Whether they’re words that have come from your own mouth or that of a family or friend’s. We can pretty much predict what happens from this point onwards. A premium master plan is drawn out to lose 5kg in the next two months by restricting all favourite, processed, macro-unfriendly meals and snacks. After all, you’re dead set on your new plan and you’re determined to shed all the unwanted fats off the charts!
Somehow, with all your determination, you muster all your strength and manage to successfully eat as planned. A few days pass and you start to notice that with every following day that goes by, you begin to crave all the foods you told yourself you couldn’t and shouldn’t eat.
You’ll be glad to know that Sports Nutritionist James is letting you in on a tiny little secret: It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s true to say that certain levels of restraint are required, but there are still ways to enjoy your favorite foods mindfully without bursting the calorie bank.
Read on to find out 4 simple and practical ways to eat your favourite foods while trying to lose weight!
1. Share with your friends
It has been said that food tastes best when shared with good company!
By sharing a portion of these pleasure foods with a group of friends, not only will you have a great time over food, you’ll also be able to split the cost and save your calories while getting a dose of the food you really want to eat.
2. Buy the smallest size or request for a sample
Sometimes, a cravings begins and ends with an “I just want to try”. For times like these, you really don’t need to buy an entire whole serving of the treat you crave.
Craving some ice cream or frozen yogurt? Opt for the smallest size or a single scoop. If you can make do with even less than the smallest option available, how about just going for some samples offered in some dessert stores, or the sample sizes available at the supermarket?
3. If you need the entire serving, consider substituting a meal for it
As much as possible, you definitely want to get your nutrition from whole and unprocessed foods, but sometimes, what’s bad for the body can actually be good for the mind.
If a tiny sample portion of whatever you’re craving for is not enough to satisfy you, perhaps you can consider having the treat at its whole amount, and compensate by reducing the content of your next meal or completely skipping the meal, whichever best meets the needs for your fat loss goals.
If you’re going to replace a treat for an entire meal, remember to eat slowly. In doing this you might end up finishing less than you think you need, while enjoying the flavor for a longer duration.
4. Buy the whole thing, eat a bite and donate or throw the rest
Unfortunately, we don’t always have friends readily available to join us for spontaneous meals, and we can’t get mini sample sizes for everything. This doesn’t change the fact that we have cravings to satisfy.
In circumstances where the above is the case, remember that buying full-sized portions of your favourite treats or cheat meals may be required, but finishing it definitely isn’t. If eating a bite or two is all you need to settle your craving, finishing the rest of the portion for the sake of it will be mindless eating of empty calories, and will not get you closer towards achieving your fat loss goals.
If you’re not comfortable throwing leftovers away, get in touch with your local food bank and ask about their policies for donating food and leftovers.
Whichever method you choose to use, choose it mindfully and eat slowly. While trying to lose weight, one important factor to consider is your relationship with food – a huge consequence to prolonging your craving for too long is binge eating, which usually leads to a sense of guilt, a warehouse full of chocolates, pastry and snacks, and a humongous hole in your pocket. Why not stop the problem where it is, enjoy a mindful munch and feel good about yourself at the same time.
This article was adapted from James' original article.
Explore all the fitness, wellness and lifestyle services available here.